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Unite Release Their Latest Trading Update

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Unite Group have released their latest trading update year-to-date ahead of their annual general meeting.

The company has reported good levels of demand for its accommodation from students from the UK, the EU and other international students. This demand has translated into a strong lettings performance, with reservations at 82% (80% in 2016) as of 11 May, at pricing that is supportive of like for like rental growth of 3.0-3.5%.

Unite has reported progress in enhancing the quality of its portfolio, recycling £434 million from the sale of non-core assets. Unite's share of the sale came in at £170 million, against the company's target of £150-200 million for the year.

The cash raised from sales will be used to fund its development pipeline through to the end of 2019, which currently stands at over 7,000 beds.

Once complete and fully let the additional properties are expected to add 12-14p of earnings per share.

Commenting on their recent acquisition at Aston University, Unite has already established reservations across the property of 90% for the 2017-18 academic year. These reservations are under-pinned by a new nomination agreement with Aston University for 1,950 beds, with the remainder directly let to students.

Although the nomination agreement is initially for one year, the company hopes it will represent the first stage of a long-term strategic relationship between the University and Unite Students.